I’m doing a little research on Canadian literature of the 19th century. This is not a field that overwhelms the researcher with an abundance of masterpieces. Canada, at this time, was an empty, rugged, pioneering place, vaguely British in the society of its small urban elite, but for most people culturally closer the the western parts of the United States. Montreal had a modest literary life in French, drawing on several centuries of folklore and even producing a few operas. These works were unknown in the rest of the French-speaking world. English-speaking Montrealers were more interested in commerce than culture. Outside of Montreal, the only real city, there was not much other than small towns, farms and wilderness.
(Singer 2000) X-Men [RiffTrax version]
(Barry 1975) Poldark: Ep.2
(Barry 1975) Poldark: Ep.3
(Sagal 1971) The Omega Man
(Slatzer 1968) The Hellcats [Mystery Science Theatre version]
24527. (Soldat Louis) Première bordée
24528. (Coleman Hawkins) Desafinado
24529. (Armens) Une ombre
24530. (Giuseppe Verdi) Messa solenne
24531. (Giuseppe Verdi) Qui tollis
24532. (Giuseppe Verdi) Tantum ergo in F
24537. (Thomas Piketty) Le Capital au XXIe siècle
24538. (John Dryden) An Essay of Dramatic Poesy
24539. (Jan Michal Burdukiewicz) Microlith Technology in the Stone Age [article]
24540. (George Monbiot) It’s Simple. If We Can’t Change Our Economic System, Our
. . . . . Number’s Up [article]
24541. (Thomas Piketty) On the Long Run Evolution of Inheritance — France, 1820–2050
. . . . . [article]
The concert-going public doesn’t associate Sibelius with chamber music, but he actually composed quite a bit of it, including four string quartets. One of them, the Quartet in D Minor, Op.56, known as “Voces Intimae”, has made it into the standard repertoire. With it’s jaunty rhythms, peculiar twists and turns, and frenetic passages that must work up a sweat among the players, it has won a place in the sun, though it’s not in the same league with the famous Beethoven, Bartók, or Dvořák quartets. It’s always been a favourite of mine, because it seems to convey a mood that hits me occasionally, for which there is no common name. It was composed around the time of the stark, introspective Fourth Symphony, and it shares some of its strangeness. But Sibelius composed three others, seldom performed. The first, in E-flat, is a youthful effort with little to commend it. It’s just warmed-over Hayden, constructed by the book. But the second and third ones, in A Minor and B-flat, are listenable and entertaining. Sibelius pretty obviously drew his inspiration from Dvořák, but you can hear distinctively Sibelian elements in both. The B-flat one has evolved sufficiently to stand next to Voces Intimae without shame, and it should be played more.
(Stephani 1936) Flash Gordon [aka Space Soldiers]: Ep.4 ― Battling the Sea Beast
(Stephani 1936) Flash Gordon [aka Space Soldiers]: Ep.5 ― The Destroying Ray
(Stephani 1936) Flash Gordon [aka Space Soldiers]: Ep.6 ― Flaming Torture
(Stephani 1936) Flash Gordon [aka Space Soldiers]: Ep.7 ― Shattering Doom
(Stephani 1936) Flash Gordon [aka Space Soldiers]: Ep.8 ― Tournament of Death
(Scardino 2013) The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
(Stern 2013) jOBS
24501. (Penn Kazh) mesKad
24502. (Giuseppe Verdi) Aïda [complete opera: von Karajan; Tebaldi, Simionato, Bergonzi]
24503. (Denez Prigent) Irvi
24504. (Kanye West) Yeezus
24505. (Open Folk) Bretonstone
24500. (Th. Hersart de La Villemarqué) Barzaz-Breiz: chants populaires de la Bretagne
24501. (Hervé Lossec) Les Bretonnismes
24502. (Khashchuluun Chuluundorj) Current Status of Mongolia’s Economic and Social
. . . . . Development and Future Trends [article]
24503. (Batchimeg Migeddorj) Mongolian Economic Background and Political Destiny
. . . . . [article]
One special trip, at my request, was to the chapel of Saint Gildas. Gildas is well-known to those who study English history in the “dark ages”, because his De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae is the first written history of Britain. In fact, it is pretty much the only documentary source for fifth and sixth century Britain. Bede’s History doesn’t appear until the year 731. But Gildas spent part of his career on the continent (he is supposed to have slain a dragon on a brief visit to Rome), and specifically in Morbihan, where he died. There are two written biographies of Gildas on which we depend for information, but they were written respectively in the ninth and twelfth centuries, and tell very dissimilar stories. The earliest life relates that Gildas converted the heathen of the Blavet valley by standing upon a great rock overlooking the river and shouting his exhortations. That sort of thing, apparently, worked in those days. When someone has already slain a dragon, he probably has a sufficiently forceful personality to pull it off. Anyway, the rock is still there, with a medieval chapel at its foot, and the place is wonderfully atmospheric. It being before the tourist season, Didier and I had it all to ourselves. Gildas lived, with one acolyte, in a tiny grotto underneath the rock, still accessible, until he returned to his monastery on the coast and completed Conquestu Britanniae. While the late medieval chapel was closed, I have found a picture of its interior.
For such a short visit, I was able to see a good deal of the countryside of Morbihan. Didier drove me to a number of wonderful places, and I also covered a considerable amount on my own, on foot, and did some hitch-hiking as well.
But rather than attempt to reconstruct where I visited chronologically, or trip by trip, I think I’ll just present a gallery of images, with a few comments.